Saturday, August 30, 2014

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Books & Details

Back To School
On the last official week-end of their summer, the last thing on the minds of the grand crew was going back to school.  Swimming in a local lake and fishing is all that occupied the mind of the grand son.

This is my wife and I with the grandcrew.  That's about as close to getting the whole family in the photo as we can get unless someone else takes the photo.  My daugher is taking this photo and her husband is assisting her.

I have a collection of books that reflect my interests.  I have several translations of the Bible and numerous commentaries.  I have a number of books on photography and some day they may actually help me become a better photographer.  And, I have a collection of books that reflect the profession that I practiced for over thirty years.  These three books are special in that collection.  Architectural Graphic Standards was considered the bible of architectural details and information.  When I got my first drafting job in 1969 the 5th edition was the most current version.  Several years later the Sixth edition was released, followed by the Seventh.  I think that the Seventh edition was the last release that was widely used.  Computers became the method of drawing and electronic details became the source of information.  I believe that the 11th edition was the last printed version of the book, but you got a CD of the information with it.  I have managed to collect the 3rd through the 9th editions.


Here is an example of the deatils in the 5th edition. They were hand drawn and lettered. They were actually a joy to look at. I would find myself just looking through the book for enjoyment.

Here is some of the same information from the 9th edition.  All of the details are computer generated.  I never opened this book unless it was absolutely necessary.  It was purely for reference.  While the computer drawings were clean and easy to read, somehow, they had taken the soul out of the book.

Last fall my daughter asked me to take some "Senior Photos" of our oldest grand daughter.  This young lady is now a freshman in college and writing the next chapter of her life.  Love her to pieces.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Skywatch Friday

I never cease to be fascinated by the diversity of colors that God displays in sunrises and sunsets.  They can transform the most mundane landscape into a jaw dropping scene.  If you saw this location in the middle of the day, you would never give it a thought nor stop to capture an image.  But, wait until sunrise or sunset and the possiblities are endless.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Inspiration Thursday - Thank You Lord

As I look around this troubled world in which I live, I can only say, "Thank you Lord for the life that you have given to me.  Even though I am nearing the end of my sixth decade on this planet, and some things don't work as well as they used to, still, my life is blessed.  Yes, I have a pacemaker.  Yes, I have two bad knees and replacement surgery is probably in my future.  Yes, I have a couple of other medical issues that require monitoring, but I have access to adequate medical care.  I can do most anything that I want, deep knee bends excluded, but who really wants to do those anyway?  All in all, my health is good, not perfect, but good.
I live in the greatest country in the world!  I have freedoms that other people from other nations only dream about.  I may not like what my government is doing on any given issue and I may not like the choice that the people have made regarding some of our elected officials.  Still, the democratic republic that our forefathers established and the Creator of the universe has blessed, is the greatest nation in the history of the world and I am ever thankful to be a native born citizen of the United States of America.
As a citizen of this great nation, I am most thankful for our freedom of religion.  It is that freedom that is most responsible for the greatness of this country.  I am thankful for it because it is through the freedom to preach and teach the message of the Gospel that I came to know about Jesus Christ and my need for a savior.  When my time on this earth is over I will move from the greatest nation on the planet, to the greatest home ever created.  Christ has prepared a place for me in heaven so that I might live forever and worship Him.  As good as this life has been, it does not compare to an eternity without tears, without pain, without suffering of any kind.  Thank you Lord for this life and the one that I will experience some day.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ruby Tuesday Too

Saturday Morning I got up early and headed into Rogers, AR for the car show portion of their Frisco Festival.  The city of Rogers is named after the vice president of the Frisco Railroad at the time of it's founding.  My dad worked for the Frisco for 42 years, so there is a bit of a connection for me. 

This little red & whithe Austin Heally 3000 caught my eye.  A friend of mine owned one when we were both much younger and actually able to enter and exit the car without making more creaking sounds than the automobile.  Getting down is easy.  Getting back up is another story.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Skywatch Friday - From the Balcony

If you find yourself fortunate enough to take a cruise, get a room with a private balcony.  There is nothing quite like the fresh breeze that comes off of the water and, if you have your camera, the photo opportunties are endless.

Inspiration Thursday - Wayfaring Stranger

The dictionary defines "wayfarer" as someone who travels from place to place, usually by walking.  While we utilize planes, trains, and automobiles to do much of our traveling today, we still spend a great deal of time placing one foot in front of the other, in order to get around the office, the house, etc.  To most of us the word wayfarer implies wandering aimlessly, without clear direction.  The dictionary doesn't really place the word in that context.  It simply states that the method of wayfaring is usually by walking.  Walking is an ideal methond of travel.  It doesn't cost anything.  It provides us with much needed exercise and it give us the opportunity to truly stop and explore the world around us.
All of us are wayfarers in this life and this life that we live on planet earth is but a milisecond in eternity.  As I walk through this life I have to ask, "Where am I headed?"  "What is at the end of this road that we call life?"  The day that I draw my last breath on this earth I will begin a new adventure that I have spent far to little of my life preparing for.  The instant that I step into eternity I will spend it with the Creator of the universe.  I am not going there because I am a good person, nor because I believe that everyone goes to heaven, because they don't.  I will spend eternity in a place prepared for me by Christ himself because I have admitted that my life is filled with sinful behavior, I believe that Christ is indeed the only Son of the true living God, and I believe that Jesus died on a cross to pay the debt for my sins.  I can never do enough to repay Him for what He has done for me.  Thankfully, I don't have to.
The Bible tells me that this earth is not my home.  My home is with my Lord.  Until the day that the Creator calls me home, I am here as a "Wayfaring Stranger."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ruby Tuesday - Branson, Missouri 2014

I know, there is no ruby red in this image.  Bear with me, we'll get to some red along the way.  Each year our family spends a few days in Branson, Missouri.  Branson is definitely a tourist town, but that's okay, we can choose to be tourists or not.  Branson sits at the west end of Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo runs through town, so swimming, fishing, water skiing etc. is available to everyone.  Branson is also home to a multitude of entertainment theaters that feature shows of all kinds, from country music to magic, to the acrobats of China.  Of course there is a major outlet mall in Branson and a newer shopping/dining district on the waterfront to satisfy the "shop til you drop" crowd.  Just out side of town, on the lake, is world famous Big Cedar Lodge.  You really need to check that place out.  Last but not least, there is Silver Dollar City, the Disney World of the heartland. 
The past three years our family has rented a condo outside of town and sitting on the shores of Table Rock Lake.  I would take my bass boat and rent a slip in the marina.  Everything was very convenient and the grand crew LOVED the place.  This year we decided to stay closer to town and do the tourist thing.  We haven't done that in years.


Our first day started off at White Water, which is a large water park.  We rode several of the slides, floated down the Lazy River, and enjoyed the Wave Pool.  A couple of us also got just a touch too much sun.  The weather was perfect and the crowds were smaller than normal, because Missouri started back to school that day.  The photo above was taken the next morning, before the park opened so there was NO crowd.


The next day found my wife and I, with the youngest grand daughter riding the iconic "Ducks".  The ducks are amphibious vehicles that transport you from Branson to Table Rock Lake for a brief spin around an island and then back on shore for the return trip into town.  The original ducks were WWII surplus vehicles.  They have all been replaced with newer commercial models.  This ride has been in Branson since the late 60's and I had never ridden it before now.  What we won't do for our grand kids.  The Ducks are definitely a "Branson Thing."

Next up was the Hollywood Wax Museum.  Here the middle grand daughter and the grandson join the "Men in Black" for a photo op.  Some of the pieces were very good.  I'll post a few for Wordless Wednesday tomorrow.


 The middle grand daughter is second cart from the front, and there is enough red here to qualify for a Ruby Tuesday.  WoooHoooo!!!!!
Our final night found us up on the entertainment strip at one of the amusement parks.  Video games and go karts were the source of fun on this night.  All in all, it was a great vacation.  So what will we do next year?  We're going back to the lake and leave the town to the tourists!  "The Branson Thing", been there, done that!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Inspiration Thursday

Once again, it's time to let the music deliver the message.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Skywatch Friday - Alaska Edition

Those of you who live near the Rockies, the Smokies, or the Appalchian mountains may not find these images to impressive, but to those of us who live near the Ozark Mountains or the plains of Kansas or Oklahoma, these are monsterous peaks.  I have also found that the best sunriset and sunset photos happen in the mountains or on the coast.  I don't know why, it just happens.  So here are a few examples of the skies of Alaska.

This is probably the last post associated with our Alaskan cruise.  I'm sure that I've already bored you to death with the vacation photos.  One last thought.  Since our cruise was sponsered by Inspiration Cruises, all of the entertainment was provided by gospel music artists.  Typically there were two events each day.  If you have ever read any post on this blog, you know that I love Christian music and that Southern Gospel holds a special place in my heart.  With that said, here are a few examples of the artists that provided the entertainment for the cruise.  Have a blessed week-end.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Inspiration Thursday - We Believe

We live in difficult times.  We live in a time when everyrhing that we believe is challenged.  The very government that we have placed our faith and trust in for over 200 years seems to have become untrustworthy.  The CIA apparently spied on Congress, then lied about it.  The IRS targeted conservative groups and then lied about it.  Our president said that those who have health care insurance could keep it, which was apparently a lie.  What have we learned from all of this.  Well, it it wise not to put your trust in man.  We humans have an incredible ability to run our lives off the tracks and into the ditch.  And, if we don't do it for ourselves, there is a governmental agency that is more than willing to do it for us.  So, who can you trust.  What can you believe in?
There are people who place their trust in the moon and stars.  They can't begin their day without reading their horoscope in the local paper.  Many people make regular visits to "mediums" for readings of their palms, tea leaves and other miscellaneous objects for guidance.  Still others employ the services of a "life coach" for guidance and direction. There is truly only one reliable source to turn to for instructions on how to live our lives and that is the One who created us.  God not only created us, but He gave us an instruction book on how to live our lives.  The Bible is life's instruction book.  One has to look no further than the ten commandments to find the basis for living life.  The first four instructions are how we should relate to our Creator.  The last six tell us how we should relate to one another.  The book of Proverbs is a book of wisdom.  Following the instructions in Proverbs will keep us out of trouble.  We are told to "Love our neighbors as we love ourselves" (Leviticus 19:17).  Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her (Ephesians 5:25) and children are told to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1).   If we followed these three instructions alone, the world would be a much better place.  We cannot expect to change the world in the voting booth, but we should never give up our right to express our opinions at the polls.  The world will only be changed one heart at a time.  When a person realizes that they need a savior and that Christ is the answer, the the world is changed a little bit.  What is our answer when asked, "What do you believe?"  The answer is, "We believe in..."

In this time of desperation
When all we know is doubt and fear
There is only One Foundation
We believe, We believe
In this broken generation
When all is dark, You help us see
There is only One Salvation
We believe, We believe

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He's given us new life
We believe in the crucifixion
We believe that He conquered death
We believe in the resurrection
And He's comin' back again, we believe

So, let our faith be more than anthems
Greater than the songs we sing
And in our weakness and temptations
We believe, We believe!

We believe in God the Father!
We believe in Jesus Christ!
We believe in the Holy Spirit!
And He's given us new life!
We believe in the crucifixion!
We believe that He conquered death!
We believe in the resurrection!
And He's comin' back again!

Let the lost be found and the dead be raised!
In the here and now, let love invade!
Let the church live love our God will see
We believe, We believe!
And the gates of hell will not prevail!
For the power of God Has torn the veil!
Now we know Your love will never fail!
We believe, We believe!

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He's given us new life!
We believe in the crucifixion!
We believe that He conquered death!
We believe in the resurrection!
And He's comin' back,
He's comin' back again!
He's comin' back again!
We believe!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Victor(y)ia - Last Port

Thursday was a day at sea and Friday afternoon we Arrived in Victoria, British Columbia, our last port of call before returning to Seattle.  Victoria is a beautiful city of around 200,000.

Our excursion was described as a "stroll" through Victoria.  Actually it was a 4.5 mile, 2-1/2 hour walk (hike) that ended in downtown Victoria, which was over a mile from the ship.  Just sayin'.  Still, it gave us the opportunity to get closer to some of the sights than any tour bus could provide.
One thing that impressed us throughout the entire cruise was how clean and fresh the air smelled.  Looking out into the bay in Victoria one is struck by the crystal blue water.  Those dark streaks in the middle of the clouds are actually mountain peaks poking through the clouds.  Again, the size of the mountains is impossible to imagine or describe.  You just had to be there.


Our stroll (hike) took us down Government Street, which was the first exclusive residential area of Victoria.  It is now a historical area, which means that the owners cannot make interior structural changes to these homes and that the exteriors must be painted in period correct colors.  You really have to be a dedicated preservationist to live in one of these homes, but they are lovely.


The next stop on our adventure was Beacon Hill park.  The gardens here are amazing.  There are pine trees, in the park, that eagles actually nest in during the year.  I could have spent a long time in this park and still not photographed everything.


The tour ended at the parliment building and the Empress Hotel.  Both are magnificent, imposing structures.  The parliment building is over a block long, so we hung around until after sunset to get a photo of it all lit up.

After this stroll/hike, we were still over a mile from the ship and my knees were in no mood for another adventure, so we took a cab back to the ship.  The next moring we docked at the very place were this vacation started.  We collected our luggage and spent the night in a local hotel.  Sunday morning we boarded a plane and flew home.  Our once-in-a-lifetime adventure was now a fond memory that we will treasure forever.  Hope you enjoyed the cruise.

Monday, August 4, 2014


The next stop on our Alaskan cruise was Ketchikan.  It is a town of about 10,000 residents.  Ketchikan has two industries, fishing and tourists.  Of course gold mining was an important chapter in the life of this town as well. 

Ketchikan also has a large collection of totems and that was the focus of our excursion.

Each evening, after all of the activities of the day, we would return to our room to find a new creation.  This fellow was the last of the bunch.  I'll post the others at a later date, maybe as a Wordless Wednesday theme.

 Tomorrow will be the final stop of our cruise, Victoria, British Columbia.  See you then.